Celebrate Halloween with Spook-tacular Stories From Across the Globe
Halloween is just around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a few ghost stories! Here are a few spooky tales from destinations around the globe:
The Seychelles — Oliver le Vasseur, The Pirate The Seychelles were discovered 300 years ago, and there is plenty of history surrounding the 115 paradise islands. In the 17th century, pirates were among the first inhabitants, using islands like Fregate as a base for attacks against the British East India Company.
The Seychelles have seen a host of settlers, and in the 18th century, it became a French colony. The islands changed hands several times between the French and British before gaining independence in 1976. Throughout its history, the Seychelles has become home to people from all continents and is today famous for their blend of cultural backgrounds and for the warm welcome extended to guests from around the world.
Fregate Island Private is a unique destination where one can experience the best the Seychelles has to offer. The name recalls legends of long-lost treasure chests buried on the island, including the famous treasure of Olivier le Vasseur or ‘La Buse’ who was known to speedily and ruthlessly attack his enemies. On the day of his execution, La Buse was said to have thrown a mysterious cryptogram into the crowd while shouting “find my treasure he who can!”. To this day, the text remains unintelligible.
Vermont, USA — The Ghost of Mary Todd Lincoln
New England is one of the oldest parts of America, and with that history comes plenty of folklore. One tale tells of one of America’s first ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln, being seen at a resort in Manchester, VT. Mary had first visited the property during the summer of 1864 and had plans to come back the following year with President Lincoln. Sadly, the two did not return to the hotel together as President Lincoln was assassinated that April. Eventually Mary made her way back to the property – in the form of an apparition. Guests and employees have seen the ghost of Mary along with a small child wandering throughout the hotel. There have also been reports of low whispers and cold chills passing through guests, items being moved to the left and guests being woken up in the night by lights flickering on unprompted.
Just 30 minutes away is this Stratton Mountain Contemporary Home in Winhall, Vermont. Available through luxury property and travel club THIRDHOME, this Stratton home is det on the highest peak in southern Vermont and offers breathtaking views of the 46-acre estate and the surrounding countryside. When they are done listening to folklore, guests will delight in the variety of hiking and biking trails available on site, an ideal site for taking in the fall foliage. The spacious home, which easily can accommodate 10 guests across 5,500 square feet, features an open floor plan and chef’s kitchen. The exquisite outdoor space has a fire pit and outdoor kitchen, a perfect place for families to sit around the fire while telling more stories.
Crillon le Brave, France — The Brave Crillon, a French Solider and War Hero The old medieval village of Crillon le Brave is one of the highlights of dreamlike Provence especially because of its hilltop position and high vantage point. A small village, Crillon le Brave has one paved road running through the middle and was strategically built on a hill for defensive purposes to provide more farmland on the plains below. The village was named after a local hero and legendary duke, Louis des Balbes de Berton de Crillon or the Brave Crillon, a French solider that was King Henry IV’s fiercest and most valiant generals during the French Wars of Religion in the late 16th century. King Henry IV referred to Crillon as “the man without fear “and “the brave of the brave.” The Brave Crillon took part in the victorious battle of Ivry and the siege of Paris during the war and helped King Henry IV to triumph.
Hotel Crillon le Brave, a Maisons Pariente property, is located in the village and named after its location and legendary hero. Here, the hotel is a fully-fledged part of the village, with the property consisting of various private houses, acquired over time since 1989. A bronze statue of the Brave Crillon welcomes visitors just opposite reception. The hotel’s nine houses form an incredible architectural complex and enchanting jumble of stone houses with traditional Genoise tiling and small courtyards linked by pedestrian alleys and galleries, some of which lead to spectacular views of the surrounding area. Hotel Crillon le Brave is a destination that tells a story while also inviting guests to experience create their own stories.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador — The Legend of The Headless Gringa While the Galapagos Islands are known for their beautiful beaches and amazing animals, they also have their fair share of supernatural stories. One tale is of a hot-tempered U.S. solider who, upon finding out his girlfriend cheated on him, threw her down the cliffs of Baltra Island, where she lost her head. After her tragic end, sightings of the apparition are said to have appeared to men on the island, luring them to an isolated location before revealing her wrath in the form of a headless screaming ghost. Another much less menacing story is of a spirit that sails around the islands on one of Quasar Expeditions’ luxury yachts, the M/V Evolution. Prior to cruising the Galapagos, the M/V Evolution was a Japanese fishing boat. One of the fishermen passed away on the boat, and now his friendly ghost roams the halls late at night, opening and closing doors at random.
Barcelona, Spain — Santa Eulalia Santa Eulalia, along with Sant Jordi, is a patron saint of Barcelona. She was a martyr during Roman times, and killed at the age of 13 during the persecution of Christians. Varying versions of the story claim she suffered 13 different forms of torture- one for each year of her life- including being burned, flogged, and rolled down a street in a barrel filled with glass shards. The Cathedral of Santa Eulalia, now Barcelona Cathedral, hides a dark past inside its beautiful walls. Located in the city’s Gothic Quarter, Barcelona Cathedral is said to have carried out countless exorcisms, and hosted some of the last exorcists in Spain. Today, Barcelona Cathedral is home to a gaggle of 13 geese to pay homage to Santa Eulalia and the sacrifices she made.
A simple 10-minute drive from the Gothic Quarter stands Hotel Arts Barcelona, a welcome retreat after exploring the city’s darker history. Hotel Arts Barcelona boasts stunning panoramic views from its unique location on the waterfront, ideal for putting the mind at ease.
Cape Town, South Africa - The Ghosts of The Castle of Good Hope
The Castle of Good Hope, one of the oldest buildings in Cape Town has many tales the tell. Workers and visitors report hearing voices and footsteps in the windowless dungeon and in the narrow corridors of the building. The bell in the Bell Tower, which was walled up centuries ago after a soldier hung himself with the bell-rope, sometimes rings of its own accord. A black dog is also said to haunt the property and has been known to approach visitors and then disappear. Lady Anne Barnard is another of the Castle’s ghostly residents. In the late eighteenth century, Lady Anne lived at the Castle as the colony’s First Lady and often entertained important dignitaries. It seems even death won’t stop her from fulfilling her duties, as her ghost is said to appear even today when important dignitaries visit. Another popular ghost story is that of Governor Pieter Gysbert van Noodt, who was apparently a strict and militant man, once sentencing seven soldiers to die by hanging. One of the soldiers is said to have cursed him. Later that day, Van Noodt was found dead at his desk, having died of a heart attack. The curse was to condemn van Noodt to an afterlife trapped in the Castle of Good Hope, where he imprisoned and tortured so many others.
The ultimate hotel in Cape Town for ghost hunting visitors to unwind with after a day of exploring the Castle of Good Hope is Ellerman House. Ellerman House features one of South Africa’s most impressive private art collections and an award-winning wine list. The hotel consists of 13 bedrooms and two 3-bedroom villas uniquely designed to showcase panoramic ocean views and manicured gardens.
Johannesburg, South Africa - Die Spookhuis
Erasmus Castle, also known as also known as "Die Spookhuis" or "The Haunted House", is an imposing mansion situated on a hill just 45 minutes outside of Johannesburg. The castle is a unique landmark in the area and rumors of ghosts and supernatural encounters in and around the residence are popular. The Castle was built by Jochemus Erasmus with his wife as the prime visionary and during a time of growth in the area, fed by the gold rush. It was a grand old home, complete with smoking room, music room, sunny breakfast room, drawing room, study and British-Indian style verandah— perfect for soirees, music recitals and Shakespearean concerts. The couple apparently even brought a horse into the drawing-room for a production of “Twelfth Night” once. But, first and foremost, it was a home to the couple and their children, three of whom had leprosy. There have been many tales and stories about the girls with leprosy being locked up in the tower and staying home instead of going to Westfort Leper Colony. People avoided the Erasmus’ in the streets of the town and the domino would not bury the son with leprosy, Carel, when he passed. Since then local residents have often reported strange noises and ghost sightings in and around the Victorian mansion. Paranormal activity is claimed to include lit windows in the uninhabited mansion, encounters with Erasmus dependent ghosts, and hearing moans at night.
The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a secluded retreat in Johannesburg’s affluent suburb of Sandhurst about a 40-minute drive from the Erasmus Castle with a star concierge that helps with arranging day excursions for thrill seekers looking to explore the haunted landmark. Located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, within minutes of Johannesburg's world-class shopping and business hub, the Saxon Hotel is a private, all-luxury, 53-suite hotel with nature-infused spa, gourmet restaurants, and impressive art collection.